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Summary:

Consumers are still looking to hold onto their memories with hard-copy photographs. At a time when many tech-savvy users are uploading their entire photographic lives to Facebook or Flickr, many others — especially those with kids looking to send pictures to grandparents or other far-away relatives […]

shutterflyConsumers are still looking to hold onto their memories with hard-copy photographs. At a time when many tech-savvy users are uploading their entire photographic lives to Facebook or Flickr, many others — especially those with kids looking to send pictures to grandparents or other far-away relatives who might not be as computer literate — are going to sites like Shutterfly to get their digital pics printed out. Shutterfly yesterday reported its second-quarter revenue grew 10 percent year over year to $38.9 million, with customers and orders up 13 percent and 6 percent, respectively, despite the economic slowdown. The company’s Personalized Products & Services revenue grew 20 percent over last year. This includes photo books, custom mugs, posters and various other gifts.

I own a laser printer/copier/scanner, mostly so I can print out legal documents, sign them, scan them and return them. I haven’t actually printed anything besides an airline ticket in years — I can’t remember the last time I wanted a printed photo, but if I had some need for it, I would probably use iPhoto’s printing service, or something like Shutterfly. It’s the best of both worlds, and it saves a trip up the street to Wal-Mart’s photo processing lab. Shutterfly’s customers seem to agree!

  1. I think the MegaPixel race probably also played a part. With MP increasing across the board, now you can actually get some pretty amazing prints other than just 4×6. Why go buy somebody elses art when you can make your own:)

    Interesting Post.

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    1. That’s pretty cool, but I wonder how many people are willing to send their priceless, perhaps one-of-a-kind photos to a web service?

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  2. Online services are often hit or miss.

    Costco has some of the best printing service available outside a pro lab. They have decent wages and benefits, which means low staff turn-over and more competent employees. Their equipment is properly calibrated and you can even get ICC profiles for them if you have a color-managed workflow (as any serious photographer should). The prices are excellent, of course.

    Another tip – instead of individual prints or albums, consider making a bound photo book from services like Blurb. That’s what I did with my wedding photos.

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